We are officially half way through NaNoWriMo!!!
I honestly can’t believe the month has gone this fast. I still feel like it’s November 4th. Luckily, my word count has gone up with the days. I’m currently at 30,156 words for this month, 66,393 words total! By the way, if you want to see my progress, add me as a writing buddy (I really want more writer friends!), or check out my goal tracker for my WIP!
While I’ve been writing for a few weeks before NaNoWriMo started, I hit a rough patch in NaNo week 2. I know that happens with a lot of people. The momentum is waning. You’ve written your first few chapters and now you aren’t sure where to go, or maybe you skipped to the chapters you were most eager to write and now you need to go back and work on less interesting scenes. Suddenly, this novel isn’t a shiny and exciting new thing, but instead, it’s become a chore.
Week 2 can be hard for everyone. In previous years, I just gave up at the halfway mark and didn’t bother. But now I’ve learned some tips to stay in the game, and I want to share them with you.
1. If you write in order, maybe try skipping around.
I know. It sacrilege. But sometimes, it helps to just focus on the scenes that have you most excited. However, I must admit, I struggle with this. I’m a chronological person at heart and the idea of skipping any scene- even a small, inconsequential one terrifies me.
2. Go back to what inspired you
Sometimes, when you lose your motivation, it’s important to remember what motivated you to begin with. Was it a song? A conversation you had with someone? Or maybe something you experiences in your life. I find it helps to look back at what made me want to write this story.
My current WIP is heavily inspired by one of my favorite movies, and when I struggled to put words on paper, I would re-watch my favorite scenes. A previous NaNo novel of mine was based on an aspect of my life that I didn’t see often in YA books, so whenever I was stuck, I would think or journal about that part of my life.
3. Do some writing craft research
I love learning about writing, and if you’re doing NaNoWriMo then I think it’s safe to assume you do too. One thing that never fails to get me interested in my book again, is to hear other people talk about their books and give their advice. I love to watch authors and booktubers’ videos on writing.
Here’s a link to a great author & youtuber, Alexa Donne, and her video on the best writing advice she’s learned!
4. Read a book that inspires you
Some authors are absolutely brilliant writers and nothing makes me more determined to write than to read a book (or even just a quote) by Roshani Chokshi, Leigh Bardugo, or Tomi Adeyemi. Seeing how beautifully they write even the simplest of lines makes me want to try to do the same.
That doesn’t mean you should limit inspiring books to just beautifully written ones. Try to find some books with character arcs that you think are really well done, or plots that grip you. Whatever inspires you most, use that when you need something to drive you. Admittedly, sometimes I get self-conscious when I see how talented these authors are, but once I was able to push that aside, this became an invaluable tool for me.
Writing is hard. It’s painful and challenging and absolutely brutal, but it’s not impossible.
Put on your favorite fluffy socks, pour out some coffee, and push through.
You got this.
How are you surviving NaNoWriMo? What are your best tips for when you are struggling to find motivation?
Check out my latest NaNoWriMo post here: My NaNoWriMo Plotting Process (2018)